In Russia, March 30 is Volcanologist’s Day – a professional holiday of people of an extremely rare, romantic, and very dangerous profession. These intrepid explorers of fire-breathing mountains sometimes have to work in incredibly difficult conditions. Their work protects humanity from the great troubles that large-scale eruptions can bring. The history of the professional holiday dates back to one of these eruptions: on March 30, 1956, the volcano Bezymianny shot out ash columns up to a height of 45km. Its activity was closely monitored by scientists. The eruption was the first such event in Kamchatka, studied in detail by volcanologists in real time.
Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands are rightfully considered the center of volcanic activity in our country. The history of Russian volcanology also began on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was here that the first volcanological station in the Soviet Union was opened on September 1, 1935. Later, the Laboratory of Volcanology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR was established there. Its specialists were able to study in detail the powerful eruption of Bezymianny on March 30, 1956.
There are more than 300 volcanoes in Kamchatka. About 30 of them are considered active. The most famous fire-breathing mountains are located on the territory of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve: Kronotsky, Kizimen, Kihpinych, Gamchen, Vysoky, Taunshits, and Krasheninnikov. Four more volcanoes – Ilyinsky, Koshelev, Kambalny, and Diky Greben – are located in the South Kamchatka Federal Reserve. All volcanoes are constantly monitored by Russian scientists.
Kamchatka volcanoes store a lot of useful scientific information. Glaciers and moraines on their slopes are an important source of data on climate changes that occurred in distant epochs. The deposits of ash layers tell scientists about the history of the formation of fire-breathing mountains and volcanic activity in the region.
Every year thousands of tourists come to Kamchatka to admire volcanoes and geysers. The volcanic cones of the peninsula are an unforgettable sight, despite the danger lurking in them.
Constant monitoring of the activity of volcanoes is the key to a quiet life for the population of Kamchatka, and the neighboring regions of the country. The employees at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other volcanologists are guarding the peace of people. We congratulate them on their professional holiday and wish them creative success, new discoveries, and good health!